At the end of his gospel account the Apostle John wrote the following, “And there are also many other things which Jesus did, which if they were written in detail, I suppose that even the world itself would not contain the books that would be written.” –John 21:25
What a brilliant and inspired statement that is. Jesus did a lot, and said a lot while he was on earth.
Of course, we believe that He continues to say and do a lot, even to the present, but that is a subject for another day.
Some of the things Jesus said were pretty simple, and practical, things that a lot of spiritual people would agree on, such as “The Golden Rule” – “In everything, therefore, treat people the sameway you want them to treat you…” Matthew 7:12… this wasn’t revolutionary or controversial, it was already part of the the Jewish law. Jesus was just summarizing Leviticus 19:18 -“You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the sons of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself; I am the LORD.” and Leviticus 19:34 -“The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt; I am the LORD your God.”
But there are, however, many things that Jesus said that were controversial, these are the things that are often overlooked when people who don’t really believe in Jesus talk about Him as though they know Him and understand Him. Jesus did not leave us with the option of just thinking He was just a “good guy.” One cannot come to that conclusion, unless they ignore the volume of things that He actually said.
The following are thirteen sayings that I think are among the more controversial or divisive things He is quoted by John as having said.
1. Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” –John 3:3 This was followed with, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” –John 3:5″
2. “No one has ascended into heaven, but He who descended from heaven: the Son of Man. As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life.” –John 3:13-15
3. “You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews.” – John 4:22
4. “Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live.” –John 5:25
5. Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.” – John 6:29
6. Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.” – John 6:35
7. So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves.” –John 6:53
8. “Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.” –John 8:24
9. “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” – John 8:31,32
10. Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.” – John 8:58
11. Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no sin; but since you say, ‘We see,’ your sin remains.” – John 9:41
12. Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?” –John 11:25,26
13. Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” – John 14:6
Questions to consider:
What among these do you think is the most controversial?
Is there some other of His sayings that you would add to the list?